We all have concerns when making a purchase decision. To salespeople, these are often referred to as “objections,” which has a rather harsh association with arguing court lawyers. Whatever we call them, objections are simply reasons that will prevent our prospects from buying. If not handled properly, these thoughts can ultimately block the sale. Today I want to share with you three steps to handling any sales objection, but for clarity I will use the example “your price is too high.”
Step 1: Welcome
Rather than appearing surprised or defensive, it is important to welcome the prospect expressing their concern. The very fact that they are raising it is a sign that they trust you enough to be honest. Thank them by saying “I’m so glad you brought that up,” or “That’s a really great question!”
Step 2: Validate
Even if they don’t make any sense, all objections are important to the prospect. Remember, perception is reality. Rather than addressing it immediately however, it makes sense to ensure you are answering the right objection. When a person says “your price is too high,” this can have a multitude of meanings. For example:
– They might not have the cash right now
– Your price is higher than your competitors
– Their perceived value might be low
As you can see, the three examples above will have very different answers. In order to validate the objection, ask a question such as “When you say our price is too high, what do you mean?” Follow up their answer with a few more questions until you get to the bottom of the issue.
Step 3: Empathise
Empathy is our ability to listen to and feel another person’s point of view. Once you have ensured you understand the objection completely, it is important to demonstrate that you understand where your prospect is coming from. You may consider using the “Feel, Felt, Found” technique, such as “I totally understand how you feel. Many of our clients felt the same way at the beginning. However what they found was that while our price is high, they saved on the costs of maintaining the cheaper solution.” Note here that you are also using the principle of social proof, where the testimonies of others is more convincing than your words alone.
Objections are not to be feared, and need to be approached with an attitude of helping the prospect address their concerns. The Welcome, Validate, Empathise framework can be used to handle any sales objection, but only from a perspective of genuine concern for our prospects.
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